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Terms of Service Discussion

AeliosAelios Member Posts: 449 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
Good Morning everyone!

Been reviewing the Terms of Service for Achaea which is pasted below and I noticed a few things I thought I'd bring up.

http://www.achaea.com/TOS


1.) Does Section 4 mean I can no longer pay people to do any coding work for me?  Or is this just for situations like :  @Carmain sends me $50.00 to take him hunting for 5 hours in Achaea?

2.) That 5.1 says that I can no longer use illusions such as : @Rangor snaps his fingers at you. ??

3.) That 5.2 says that if I do have someone helping me code via Teamviewer, or some other remote viewing tool, that this violates the ToS and is illegal?

4.) Am I reading this right, that 5.3 now bans all 'Mudsex'? I won't have to be approached by a small army of Siren Mhaldorians looking to be "Converted"? This would be rather awesome in its own right.



Just curious, as I don't think Section 4 existed before a month and a bit ago. Not sure though, so I figured I would bring it up! 

"You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else."

 -Albert Einstein

Praxides

Comments

  • AhmetAhmet Wherever I wanna beMember Posts: 3,370 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Aelios said:

    2.) That 5.1 says that I can no longer use illusions such as : @Rangor snaps his fingers at you. ??

    Pretty sure 5.1 means OOCly impersonating other people.
    Aelios said:

    4.) Am I reading this right, that 5.3 now bans all 'Mudsex'? I won't have to be approached by a small army of Siren Mhaldorians looking to be "Converted"? This would be rather awesome in its own right.
    Yes plz
    Huh. Neat.
  • TectonTecton The Garden of the GodsAdministrator Posts: 2,507 Admin
    edited August 2015
    Only change to the TOS in recent memory was adjusting the mailing address! Here's the TOS from 2011:
    https://web.archive.org/web/20111003160545/http://www.achaea.com/TOS

    Most of the TOS is standard video game terms of use (especially in cases with online accounts), I'm not going to go into the specific details, because I'm not a lawyer. But here is a 50' view (that's completely non-binding, in a legal sense)

    1) More of not running a business using our infrastructure/services/IP. Selling things like systems and credits is a no-no.
    2) Impersonating the person, not the character, Illusions like that would be fine.
    3) Broadcasting/streaming should be fine, as long as people aren't controlling your characters remotely, it is against the TOS for anyone but you (the person) to control your characters.
    4) RP, however you define it, isn't in violation of that. Using Achaea to send, say, pedophelia links or stories would be a violation.
    PraxidesAeliosAustere
  • AeliosAelios Member Posts: 449 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Sweet, good to know! What about those questions though? It'd be awesome to get both of your opinions, @Sarapis ;
     and @Tecton ;

    With the open sourcing of svo, I just had a few questions regarding the ToS. Thanks!!

    "You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else."

     -Albert Einstein

    Praxides
  • TectonTecton The Garden of the GodsAdministrator Posts: 2,507 Admin
    Aelios said:
    Sweet, good to know! What about those questions though? It'd be awesome to get both of your opinions, @Sarapis ;
     and @Tecton ;

    With the open sourcing of svo, I just had a few questions regarding the ToS. Thanks!!
    Edited my post to add some more detail!
    PraxidesAelios
  • AustereAustere TennesseeMember Posts: 2,282 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    So I cannot charge for any script I write now?  The ToS might not have changed,  but I don't remember that ever being the case (I didn't even know it was against the rules). 
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    We don't have a problem with people charging for something for credits as long as they're then using those credits and not re-selling them for $$. Charging real currency is against the ToS.
    PraxidesAustereAereidhna
  • AustereAustere TennesseeMember Posts: 2,282 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited August 2015
    Edit: What about charging for a lua function that is independant, stand alone, and doesn't use any specific portion of Achaea. Like a table parsing function. 
  • AustereAustere TennesseeMember Posts: 2,282 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Also, since all of my code that I release is free, but I accept donations, what if someone offers to donate rl money?  

    Does this also mean no more exchanging credits for takeout food? 
    Brean
  • BreanBrean Member Posts: 194 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Well this makes me curious then, if that's always been the case, why has the sale of systems, gui's, and other misc scripts been going on? Or have I just been misunderstanding this whole time on getting those things?
  • KezKez Member Posts: 646 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    It seems like the concern is people whose efforts can be damaging to the company's income. If 500 people pay 10 credits each to one person, then that person sells those credits at a cheaper rate than the website, say $500, that's a $1375 hole in the game's sales. That's not that bad as a one-off so while the possibility is there I doubt they would want to bother creating a problem if someone were to trade a few spare credits to a friend for a few spare dollars or lunch. The ToS specifically seems to take issue with ventures that have business-like properties, such as mass production with the intent to compete with the game's own sales.
    Aereidhna
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    edited August 2015
    Austere said:
    Edit: What about charging for a lua function that is independant, stand alone, and doesn't use any specific portion of Achaea. Like a table parsing function. 
    We're not going to get into what-ifs. The Terms of Service stand on their own and any real explanation beyond that requires a lawyer (which is expensive and which I consult as little as possible!)
  • TreyTrey Member Posts: 4,797 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Austere said:
    Also, since all of my code that I release is free, but I accept donations, what if someone offers to donate rl money?  

    Does this also mean no more exchanging credits for takeout food? 
    OH GOD I'LL STARVE

    @Sarapis, on a serious note, I'm guessing I'm in the clear with the deals I do paying credits in exchange for globes/talisman promo credits and stuff? Given that the revenue goes to IRE, that is (crested over $4000.00 in deals for April's mark talismans!).

  • RangorRangor Member Posts: 3,263 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Tecton said:
    Only change to the TOS in recent memory was adjusting the mailing address! Here's the TOS from 2011:
    https://web.archive.org/web/20111003160545/http://www.achaea.com/TOS

    Most of the TOS is standard video game terms of use (especially in cases with online accounts), I'm not going to go into the specific details, because I'm not a lawyer. But here is a 50' view (that's completely non-binding, in a legal sense)

    1) More of not running a business using our infrastructure/services/IP. Selling things like systems and credits is a no-no.
    2) Impersonating the person, not the character, Illusions like that would be fine.
    3) Broadcasting/streaming should be fine, as long as people aren't controlling your characters remotely, it is against the TOS for anyone but you (the person) to control your characters.
    4) RP, however you define it, isn't in violation of that. Using Achaea to send, say, pedophelia links or stories would be a violation.
    3)
    Sometimes I assist people with coding things via teamviewer. After setting up the aliases/scripts I tend to test it from their computer on their character. Like I installed an elist sorter for someone a while back, and I tested that it was working before I closed the teamviewer window. Can I not help people with these things anymore? I can of course ask them to type in "elist" in stead of doing it myself... but meh.
    image
    PraxidesAustere
  • AeliosAelios Member Posts: 449 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Thanks for clearing a lot of that up @Tecton ;

    I do think its quite healthy for people to be familiar with the ToS, so if anything else - this serves as an awesome reminder! 

    "You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else."

     -Albert Einstein

  • AustereAustere TennesseeMember Posts: 2,282 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Sarapis said:
    Austere said:
    Edit: What about charging for a lua function that is independant, stand alone, and doesn't use any specific portion of Achaea. Like a table parsing function. 
    We're not going to get into what-ifs. The Terms of Service stand on their own and any real explanation beyond that requires a lawyer (which is expensive and which I consult as little as possible!)
    My questions were not meant to attack the ToS. I only asked for clarification on what you deemed acceptable so as to not get myself into trouble in the event something like this popped up.  My understanding is that IRE has the right to terminate service at any point for just about any reason, so you wouldn't even have to quote an exact ToS breach. Was really asking your personal thoughts more than the legality of it all. 
  • AustereAustere TennesseeMember Posts: 2,282 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I see.  I didn't honestly know.  Just trying to make sure I stay in the circle,  but now I understand the hesitation to fully answer. Just didn't want anyone to think I had a problem with the terms. 
    Sarapis
  • SarapisSarapis Member, Administrator Posts: 3,398 Achaean staff
    Yeah, @Tael is correct, @Austere. It's just not appropriate or smart for us to get involved in what-if legal scenarios. I'm fairly clued-into the laws surrounding the operation of online games but the law is stupidly complicated and I don't know what I don't know, if you see what I mean.
    AusterePraxidesTael
  • CooperCooper Member Posts: 5,297 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    ITT: Aelios misinterpreting everything.

    Also slight lol regarding recent announce post about a now open source system and thanking them, but in this thread pointing out reselling credits for $$ and charging real currency for IG things (ie: a system) is against the ToS. Actually that's kind of a big lol.

  • AtalkezAtalkez Member Posts: 5,047 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Cooper said:
    ITT: Aelios misinterpreting everything.

    Also slight lol regarding recent announce post about a now open source system and thanking them, but in this thread pointing out reselling credits for $$ and charging real currency for IG things (ie: a system) is against the ToS. Actually that's kind of a big lol.


    Letting it happen for so long was just good for the game in general, because they didn't have the same capability to offer what SVO was offering.

    With serverside coming out, I completely assumed this would happen eventually. The more server-based things they can do that people use client-side for, the less need people have for outside scripting.

    They've said it repeatedly that this is a move they've been trying to make, anyway. The entire client is self-contained on the website and is far-and-away better than any other client they've ever made. In terms of being self-contained, the game is in a better position than it ever has been.

    They obviously have a good staff that can program the things that the playerbase has relied on players to do for so long, that it was a good business move. Keep the money in house.

    Can't blame a business for shutting down a mini-business using their entire business model to operate.



    You hug Aurora compassionately.
    Praxides
  • BreanBrean Member Posts: 194 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Sarapis said:
    We don't care about people using third-party clients - that's fine. Use whatever makes you happy to play the games. We just wanted everyone to have equal access to svo, to avoid situations where newbies get told they should go out and buy a third party system to play the game. 
    I appreciate this answer and the transparency, thank you
    SarapisTahquil
  • AktillumAktillum PhilippinesMember Posts: 1,368 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited August 2015
    Kez said:
    It seems like the concern is people whose efforts can be damaging to the company's income. If 500 people pay 10 credits each to one person, then that person sells those credits at a cheaper rate than the website, say $500, that's a $1375 hole in the game's sales. That's not that bad as a one-off so while the possibility is there I doubt they would want to bother creating a problem if someone were to trade a few spare credits to a friend for a few spare dollars or lunch. The ToS specifically seems to take issue with ventures that have business-like properties, such as mass production with the intent to compete with the game's own sales.
    To be completely honest, this is actually the least of concerns when prohibiting credit sales for real life money. A single person, even a team of people, could not "compete" with Iron Realms when it comes to selling credits. The only way to make enough credits to start a "business" is by grinding up the gold and buying the credits through the credit market.

    From an economics point of view, it makes no matter whatsoever to IRE's bottom line if people are selling credits for gold or real life money. IRE has already been paid for the credits that are sold on the credit market. In fact, IRE could actually make money by setting up a system where they become the middleman for players selling credits, by taking a small percentage of the sales. Of course, they'd only make a very tiny amount of money, which I'll explore later in this post, so it wouldn't be worth the headache for them to devise this sort of system.

    The real reason IRE and many other MMOs prohibit cash-sales between players is that it creates a liability on the company's behalf if one player scams another. If IRE condoned players selling credits, they would need to step in and investigate fraud claims. That means devoting resources to investigating trails of credit transfers and looking at screenshots of Paypal accounts. And a sophisticated criminal could give them a headache by waiting up to 6 months to "chargeback" their money from another player, and bounce around the credits between a bunch of characters behind different IPs during that time, creating a sort of "plausible deniability" on their main character. This is sort of a tricky area, because IRE could just slap in a ToS clause that said "cash sales are between players and the company will not interfere", but that would be giving the thumbs-up to people to go wild and scam the shit out of eachother.

    Now, more on why its not worth it for anyone to try and create a credit business, or for IRE to try and middleman for the sales. At an average of 6000 per credit, 1000 credits would cost 6 million gold. If you sold 1000cr at .20 cents (USD) per, that would net you $200. Of course, it would take the average person roughly (correct me if I'm wrong) about 30 - 40 hours of solid grinding to amass that gold. You'd essentially be making about $7 per hour, which is less than US minimum wage. If IRE put in a legitimate P2P sales system, and skimmed off the sales, they'd only make like $50/mo give or take.

    You could always outsource the labour to some Chinese gold farmers and pay them $10 a day and keep the rest. That'd probably be the best way. Of course, @Jhui and Co. would be ganking all your Chinese gold farmers left and right in UW and Annwyn, throwing wrenches in your gears.

    PraxidesTitonus
  • AktillumAktillum PhilippinesMember Posts: 1,368 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited August 2015
    Aktillum said:

    From an economics point of view, it makes no matter whatsoever to IRE's bottom line if people are selling credits for gold or real life money. IRE has already been paid for the credits that are sold on the credit market.
    I need to correct myself here, since I implied that IRE doesn't lose money by people selling credits for gold. In a small way they do, but this is a type of "loss leader", similar to price slashed items in a retail store. By accepting these small losses, IRE is hoping that the customer will "navigate the store" (play the game) long enough to compel them to make future purchases. So if IRE can accept the losses from players selling credits for gold, the losses from players selling credits for cash would be equally negligible.

    Iron Realms holds the monopoly on credits, they are the sole manufacturer. Nobody can charge higher for credits than Iron Realms. If Iron Realms allowed players to sell credits for cash, they would still hold monopoly over the production of credits. Even if people switched to buying credits for cash from other players, the availability would fizzle out, and everyone would need to go back to buying from Iron Realms until there were credits in the market again.

    In a normal supplier-retailer relationship, the supplier typically sells the goods to the retail at a reduced price, and the retailer sells at a price designed for profit. The inverse would be true in Achaea. You would be buying from the supplier at top price, then selling the product at a reduced price. Retail outlets would never exist if this was how the world worked. Things become a bit complicated because of Achaea's dual-currency model which doesn't really have a successful real-world parallel, and its difficult to make comparisons to real life economics. Cuba has a dual-currency model but its horrendous and has created all sorts of bizarre problems.

    Basically what would be happening is Supplier > Consumer A> Consumer A selling excess inventory to Consumer B for game currency > Consumer B selling to Consumer C for real currency. There is no real-world term for that "model", because it doesn't exist. I wish an economic theory major would step in here and delve deeper into this. My point remains though, at the end of the day, the supplier here holds a monopoly over production and any "losses" would be negligible.

    I also have to wonder if Iron Realms did actually allow players to sell credits to each other and created a system for it, would IRE be in violation of any US antitrust laws, and subject to class action lawsuit by the "retailers" (players) for holding the credit monopoly? The RMAH in Diablo 3 came dangerously close. And then you have to consider whether or not Iron Realms would be legally responsible for making players report income from selling credits, for IRS taxation.

    So yeah, the list of reasons for not allowing players to sell credits for cash goes way, way beyond just "profit loss".

    Titonus
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